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3rd February 2015, Seminar at NETS:

Istituto Universitario di Studi Superiori di Pavia (IUSS)
Centro di Ricerca in Neurocognizione, Epistemologia e Sintassi Teorica (NETS)

Dottorato in Neuroscienze Cognitive e Filosofia della Mente
(in collaborazione IUSS e Università “Vita-Salute” San Raffaele di Milano)

“What Intellectual Property is Property of”

3rd February 2015, 14.30-16.30

Aula 1-17
IUSS, Palazzo del Broletto
Piazza della Vittoria n. 15 – Pavia

> PROF. ANDREA BOTTANI - Università di Bergamo

Searle’s theory of social reality is naturalistic inasmuch as it incorporates the assumption that all constitutive rules of the form x counts as y are such that x is a physical entity and y is (after all) identical to x. Difficulties for this kind of naturalism have been raised and discussed in a number of connections. One difficulty relates to proprietary rights such as those involved in intellectual property; for, according to many, nobody can have intellectual property of material entities. I deny that this is the case, by arguing for an account of intellectual property that makes no reference to universal or immaterial entities and treats intellectual property as a “thin” proprietary right over material goods, rather than as a “robust” proprietary right over non-material goods. In this account, a central role is played by the notion of “metaproperty” of an object, defined as a right to modify the ownership relations that people bear to the object (positive metaproperty) or to prevent people from modifying these relations (negative metaproperty). Intellectual property is then defined as negative metaproperty of maximal groups of material, particular and artificial objects bearing the ancestral of the relation of copy to each other. This definition is firstly set down for copyrights and then extended to patent rights and branding rights.